The Port of London Study Group

The group was established to share the experience of exploring the history, heritage and archaeology of the port of London in a self-directed, special interest group which meets every Monday at Museum of London Docklands. Topics covered include the growth and pattern of London’s trade and associated industries, the building and operation of the docks and wharves, the vessels using the port, dockland communities and industrial relations, and the movement of people into and out of the port. Within this framework, members are free to explore topics of their individual choice.  You can see some of  the research interests in the titles of the presentations on the group’s programmes page

The group operates on a self-led basis and is made up of enthusiasts rather than experts, who take it in turns to deliver presentations, lead walks or organize visits.  During the spring and winter they will focus on to presentations and during the early summer in taking advantage of the better weather to organize the guided walks and day trips.  This mixture of approaches allows members to engage in research and share diverse interests and knowledge in a friendly and supportive environment.

 The Port of London Study Group Taking Time to Explore the Port of London

The Port of London Study Group, Taking Time to Explore the Port of London

Become a member of The Port of London Study Group

The Port of London Study Group was established in 2008 to share research into the Port of London. Members form a mixed group from a range of backgrounds with the aim to exchange information in a friendly and relaxed environment at the Museum of London Docklands.  Participants are enthusiasts, some of whom specialize in certain areas, whilst others have a broad range of research interests.

The self-led concept is an essential part of the group: the goal being to establish a friendly, positive and supported learning environment for all. The group is made up of enthusiasts rather than experts, who take it in turns to deliver presentations or lead walks.  No special knowledge or experience is necessary.  This is a really friendly group of people and always look forward to welcoming new members to share the group’s interests.  New members are welcome to join at any point in the year.

The group meets for ten week blocks. Sessions are at 11am – 1pm on Mondays.  The blocks correspond to academic term times.  During the autumn (October to early December) and spring blocks (January to March) we focus on presentations, two per session on a Monday between 11am and 1pm.  During the summer term (April to early July) we organize walks and day trips.

New members can join at any time and anyone is welcome to come and give it a try for one of our two-hour session without charge.   This is a not-for-profit group, and there is a  charge  of £20.00 per block (or term), which goes towards paying for equipment and subsidizes entrance prices for our summer term day-trips. 

The group has a laptop and flat-screen display monitor for displaying photographs and PowerPoint presentations and the use of a comfortable meeting room in the Museum of London Docklands  with disabled access.

If you would like to join the Port of London Study Group, or would like to find out more about them, please get in touch.  You can email the group’s secretary Frances Bulwer or pop in at the Museum of London Docklands


The group  based at the Museum of London Docklands, which is easily accessible by Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Underground and Thames Clipper.  The nearest DLR stop is West India Quay, the nearest Underground stop is Canary Wharf on the Jubilee Line, and the Thames Clipper stop is Canary Wharf.  For alternative means of transport and for directions to the Museum of London Docklands, click here for the “Plan Your Visit” page on the Museum of London Docklands website.

The museum has disabled access. See Museum Accessibility page on the Museum of London Docklands website.


The Port of London Study Group Spring 2017 Programme

Spring Term: Monday 16th January to Monday 20th March (inclusive)

Monday 16th January / TBA

Andie Byrnes – The Egyptian Obelisk on Victoria Embankment. A 3500 Year Journey

Monday 23rd January / Short presentations:

Jill Napier – Carpenters’ Hall
Ian McBrayne – East India Company Buildings
Barry Blackburn – The Frigate Madagascar
Fran Bulwer – TBA

Monday 30th January

Barry Blackburn –  Allhallows  – a new Seaside resort in the Making
Anne Tickell –  River Thames – Geology & Early Settlement

Monday 6th February

Ian McBrayne – Robert Milligan
Tony Keen –  Why the London Docks were built

Monday 13th February

Visiting Speaker:  Georgie Weymss (Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London) is speaking to us on the subject of:   Asian Seamen in London

Monday 20th February

Jill Napier – East End 1911

Monday 27th February

Perdita Jones:  Visit, introduction & tour of Tower Hamlets Archives, Bancroft Rd, E1, from 11am- to 1pm

Monday 8th March

Fran Bulwer – Hawksmoor’s Docklands Churches
Peter Luck – Erith, Crayford, and the Dartford Marshes

Monday 13th March

Sue Littledale – Royal Navy Victuallers & Port of London
Sheila Dobner – Disease and Healthcare in the Port of London

Monday 20th March

Shorts: Paintings, poems, and other short pieces
End of term lunch



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